Mark Kropp of Davis is the fourth Democrat in the 4th District Assembly race to replace incumbent Bill Dodd. He joins Davis Mayor Dan Wolk, Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor, and Winters Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry as the other announced Democrats. Republican Charlie Schaupp, who finished second in 2014, is the only Republican in the race.
The Vanguard interviewed Mark Kropp.
Why did you decide to run for the Assembly?
I had a mission since the 10th Grade to go to medical school and learn about health care and then to study the law in order to run for the Assembly and write good legislation to provide services for people. I was in Yosemite with my Boy Scout troop and taking First Aid. I really cannot believe how much that early idea has influenced the life choices I have made.
I earned my MD, I am in the process of completing a JD program and now running for the third time for the Assembly. My business career has focused on pharmaceutical and biotechnology rules, regulations and law not only on a local, state and federal level (FDA-Food and Drug Administration) but also globally (EU-European Union and UN-United Nations).
Describe your background and experience
I am an undergraduate, double major, from CAL Berkeley in Biological Science and German. I studied at the University of Salzburg, Austria for one year. I am an Eagle Scout. I went to medical school on Montserrat, a British Crown Colony in the Caribbean, at a California Medical Board approved school (AUC-American University of the Caribbean). I continued in OB-GYN at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley.
I then joined Bayer on the recombinant factor8 Project. This is a genetically produced blood protein used in coagulation. I served in various lab capacities and then joined quality assurance in validation services. I have now worked for over 25 years in the regulatory field for medicine. I served as president for Branford Consultants, a half million-dollar a year enterprise. My spare time has been with Public Access Television. I have served on town planning and environment commissions on behalf of the First Select Woman (Mayor) of Branford, CT. I worked on the campaigns for Bill Clinton in New England and President Obama in Georgia. For the last 5 years I have volunteered as a family practice doctor in the Amazon. We have a clinic and orphanage there.
What is your connection to this district?
I have lived and been in Davis since 1979. My oldest daughter is a graduate of UCD-University of California Davis with degrees in education including a Masters. She now teaches GATE 2nd grade.
I have as well lived around the world (Caribbean, US Virgin Islands, Europe, Brazil). Two and a half years ago I came from Augusta GA and attempted to stop globe-trotting. Unfortunately, my clients have other ideas!
What issue areas are you planning to focus on? Also address your thoughts on improving K-12. Making college affordable? Environmental issues facing district/California? Reforming the criminal justice system? And improving the economy in the region?
My campaign slogan has always been Education, Employment and Environment. The three E’s taken from my first name Elmer. I have stated Elmer means “farming.” I am acutely aware of the pressures of B and B’s and events centers encroaching on our farm lands producing our crops like tomatoes. I plan on creating a cellophane protective zone for those fruits and vegetables that sustain us while still respecting business opportunities for our district.
I wish to campaign for continuing funding for K-12. My father-in-law was Professor of Education at CAL and in fact was Mr. Torlakson’s advisor. His wife has been a special education teacher most of her career. As I stated, my daughter teaches GATE and her boyfriend came out from Boston and is a Special Education teacher as well as coach. I taught technical trade (medical front and back office) and I routinely mentor medical students at our clinic.
I am a firm believer in the fair distribution of monies available for infrastructure of our schools. I believe in a low, if no tuition, based undergraduate programs. We have been ,for a long time, faced with clean air and clean water issues and I will always do my best to protect our environment.
Our current criminal justice system is reflecting choices we made in terms of rehabilitation and incarceration. We should never treat our fellow humans as has sometimes been shown in our prisons. We cannot leave a person locked up for years in an institution not designed for long term. We cannot physically punish. We must emphasize counseling and work on behavior modification. We need to support an individual back into our economy. We also really, really need to look at the social injustices that underlie the simple crimes that are committed.
Our economy will do well with the legalization of cannabis. The tax income calculated at over $100 million dollars can go toward roads, schools and improve our standard of living.